Previously, the Ketogenic Diet has been primarily administered to children with epilepsy. Some of the reasons it has not been a staple for adult treatment is that there are some cardiovascular risks and children are able to recover from the treatment at a faster rate. Adults also have longer-term eating habits in place, which can be hard habits to change. An adult caretaker usually makes sure a child is adhering to the diet, doing all of the planning, purchasing, preparing and serving for the child. An adult will have to take this diet seriously on their own and use their own self-control to adhere to the diet strictly.
Furthermore, since several forms of pediatric epilepsy can be so severe and so drug-resistant, previous research has focused on pediatric treatment. There has not been much comprehensive research on the effects of the diet on adult seizure control until now, and the findings are excellent.
From Medpage Today:
Evaluating Dietary Therapies in Epilepsy
A recent study evaluated the success of the ketogenic and modified Atkins diet in adults with epilepsy.
Study methods. Schoeler and colleagues report their observations of 23 adults (13 women and 10 men aged 16-65 years; mean age at start of diet, 30.8 years) in whom a mean of 7.8 AEDs had failed and who tried a ketogenic diet. VNS therapy had failed in 5 patients (22%), and surgery had failed in 2 patients (9%).
The patients had a wide range of epilepsy syndromes, including 13 with no diagnosed syndrome, 7 with epilepsy associated with structural or metabolic conditions, 2 with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, and 1 with ring chromosome 17. The period of evaluation was 1-10 years. Five (22%) of the patients followed the classic ketogenic diet and the rest (78%) the modified Atkins diet, which often included medium-chain triglyceride supplements.
Findings. A response (≥ 50% seizure reduction) was seen in 39% of patients (9 of 23). Moreover, 65% were “more alert or brighter,” 61% reported less severe or shorter seizures, 57% experienced quicker recoveries, 35% had “more energy,” and 35% were able to reduce the number of their AEDs. None of the patients became seizure-free.
Adverse events. The most common adverse events were gastrointestinal symptoms, such as constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting, which affected 65% of the study group. One patient had psychosis. The diet was discontinued by 7 patients (30%), primarily for ineffectiveness. None of the patients stopped the diet as a result of adverse events.
Keep Reading: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/829712_2